Olga V. Simpson

Republican Fundraiser

Olga V. Simpson, 86, a former Washington resident who organized fundraisers for Republican members of Congress, died of complications from pneumonia and sepsis June 10 at a nursing home in Peoria, Ill., where she had lived for the past two years.

Mrs. Simpson, a native of Peoria, came to Washington in the early 1950s and later worked about five years on the staff of Sen. Everett Dirksen (R-Ill.).

She then spent a few years in the early 1960s working in the finance division of the Republican National Committee and as an assistant to the executive director of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee.

From 1965 to 1985, she ran a company that organized fundraising events for elected Republican officials. The company prepared mailings, arranged social events at the Capitol Hill Club and organized phone banks.

Her marriage to Marion "Doc" Simpson ended in divorce.

Survivors include two daughters, Candy Wallace of San Diego and Martha Keey of West Covina, Calif.; a sister, Dorothy Merritt of Dallas; a brother, Ralph Vinovich of Washington; and a grandson.

Byron Travers Fones

Construction Surveyor

Byron Travers Fones, 60, who worked as a land surveyor for construction companies before a bicycle accident in 1997 left him paralyzed from the neck down, died June 26 at Reston Hospital after a heart attack.

Mr. Fones broke his neck and back after falling off his bike in the parking lot of his Alexandria apartment. Since then, he had lived at Cameron Glen nursing home in Reston.

He was born in Washington and raised in Alexandria, where at the age of 15 he graduated from George Washington High School. He then enrolled at University of Virginia, where he studied English and math.

After three years of college, he returned to the Washington area to work in construction. He was a land surveyor for a number of construction companies involved in residential and highway construction projects, including Washington developer Richmarr Construction Inc.

His marriage to Ann M. Fones ended in divorce.

Survivors include two daughters, Kimberly T. Fones and Heather M. Fones, both of Lititz, Pa.; and two grandchildren.

Mary Evelyn Peck

School Secretary

Mary Evelyn Peck, 84, who worked as a secretary in the Fairfax County public school system for about 20 years until her retirement in 1985, died June 26 at the Spa Creek rehabilitation center in Annapolis of injuries sustained in a fall at her home last month.

Mrs. Peck, who lived in Annapolis, was a native of Medford, Mass.

She came to Washington during World War II to enlist in the Navy WAVES, which assigned her as secretary to the Patuxent River Naval Air Station until 1946.

She worked as a secretary for the General Services Administration in Springfield from 1955 to 1957.

Mrs. Peck volunteered in the admissions department at Anne Arundel Hospital and belonged to the Altar Society at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Annapolis.

Survivors include her husband of 59 years, John Peck of Annapolis; three children, John Peck of Plymouth, Mass., Steve Peck of Brunswick, Maine, and Larry Peck of Nokesville; and three grandchildren.

Judith 'Judy' T. Sorkin

Real Estate Agent

Judith "Judy" T. Sorkin, 67, a real estate agent who had worked at the Potomac office of the W.C. & A.N. Miller Co. since 1980, died of complications from pneumonia June 23 at Virginia Hospital Center.

Mrs. Sorkin was born in Fort Morgan, Colo., and raised in Denver and Wheat Ridge, Colo. In 1958, she graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and married Richard V. Sorkin.

They lived in Overland Park, Kan., for 21 years before settling in Potomac in 1979.

Mrs. Sorkin was a member of St. Francis Episcopal Church in Potomac, the D.C. chapter of the Stephens College Alumni Association and Congressional Country Club.

In addition to her husband, of Potomac, survivors include three children, Laura Sorkin Gray of Prairie Village, Kan., Richard Andrew Sorkin of Potomac and Scott Josef Sorkin of Glen Allen, Va.; a sister; and nine grandchildren.

Andrew Christopher Collins

Country Club Employee

Andrew Christopher Collins, 45, an employee of Kenwood Golf and Country Club and railroad enthusiast, died of cancer on June 13 at Washington Adventist Hospital.

A College Park resident his entire life, he was a graduate of Parkdale High School in Riverdale. He had worked at area country clubs for the past 25 years, including Indian Springs and Lakewood in Maryland. He spent seven years at River Bend Golf and Country Club in Great Falls and since 2003 had been a server with Kenwood in Bethesda.

Mr. Collins was a well-known N-scale model railroad enthusiast, who had several layouts in his home. Three years ago, he built a layout that was displayed at the Riversdale Mansion in Riverdale Park. He made frequent visits to Horseshoe Curve in Altoona, Pa., and to the locomotive maintenance facility in Strasburg, Pa., where he took pictures.

Photography was one of his hobbies, and many of his subjects included trains. In his late teens, Mr. Collins was a member of the Explorer Scouts and took flying lessons at historic College Park Airport. To his mother's dismay, he and his instructor used to practice stalls over the Chesapeake Bay.

Survivors include his mother, Margaret R. Collins of College Park; and a brother, Philip C. Collins of Germantown.

Eleanor Miller Blackwell


Eleanor Marilyn Miller Blackwell, 82, a homemaker, died of cancer June 23 at her home in Alexandria.

Mrs. Blackwell was born in St. Louis and received a secretarial degree from the Minneapolis School of Business. She served as a secretary for the Department of Defense during World war II.

She had lived in the Washington area for 64 years.

Her husband, Wiley T. Blackwell Jr., died in 1999.

Survivors include three children, Donna Blackwell Ward of Greenville, S.C., George Blackwell of Alexandria and Janet Blackwell Tedrick of Warrenton; a sister; and six grandchildren.